Power crews fly to Long Island to aid millions still in the dark - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Power crews fly to Long Island to aid millions still in the dark

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PHOENIX -

4 million people on the east coast are still without power. Friday, crews from APS and SRP left the valley to help out.

SRP and APS trucks were loaded onto huge cargo planes to be flown out to Long Island. That's where about 100 workers are headed to help get the power back up and running.

We talked to some of them just before they left.

The workers are packed for a long trip. They know the situation can be unpredictable.

"You pack as much as you can. Any kind of weather. They said expect cold weather. We packed for cold weather. We sent as much stuff on the trucks as we could send so will see what we get when we get there," says Travis Conner of APS.

Their chartered plane left at noon Friday from Mesa Gateway Airport with 62 SRP workers and 36 from APS. The workers volunteered. Tom Jeffers didn't hesitate.

"I've been on Hurricane Charlie, Ivan, Jean, Wilma and Katrina," says Jeffers of SRP. "When we did Hurricane Katrina we were on that 45 days."

The living situation can be rough, but the workers know what they're getting into.

"They get to take care of the people who are out of homes and they need a place to live… the best thing to do is to take care of those of those people, so we will take the second rate cause we are there to help."

Their equipment is flying out too, aboard about 20 Air Force cargo planes. Crews spent the day loading up the planes with trucks and supplies.

"It is certainly going to get them there a lot faster than driving them all the way across country. We are used to taking military personnel so it is a little different, the wrinkle is that we are taking SRP and APS equipment," says Lt. Col. Paul Aguirre of the 161st Air Refueling Wing.

As soon as all the equipment arrives, the workers will be helping the Long Island Power Authority restore power to more than half a million customers.

"I think most of us understand what it is like to be without power and I think that most of us feel like we could go over there and make a difference for them," says Mike Runzo of SRP.

They don't know how long they'll in the region. They were told to pack for as long as two weeks.

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